Justin Timberlake is counting down to a pop comeback after teasing fans by declaring "I'm ready", seven years after his last album Futuresex/Lovesounds was released.

The superstar has taken a step back from the music industry to focus on building up his acting resume with recent roles in The Social Network, Friends with Benefits, In Time and Clint Eastwood's baseball movie Trouble with the Curve, but on Wednesday night (09Jan12) he hinted at a big announcement by simply posting "Thursday, January 10th, 2013 at 9:01 am Pst..." on Twitter.com.

Rumours suggested Timberlake was gearing up to drop a new song produced by his longtime pal Timbaland and featuring Jay Z and Beyonce, but those claims proved to be premature as the singer directed fans to his revamped website to view a new video message.

The clip featured the SexyBack hitmaker walking into a recording studio as he explained in the voiceover that he would never quit music altogether - he had just been taking his time to create new tunes because he wanted his songs to be perfect.

He said, "Someone asked me the other day: 'So are you just done with music?' It means more to me than anybody else in the world. Look, I've only done two albums in 10 years, that's the way I really look at it. What does the next decade mean for me?

"I'm the one who sits and is just obsessive about it (new music) before you even get to hear it. As close as I get to it, I don't know that I could physically torture myself year in and year out and expect it to fulfil me the way that it does and the way that it is right now.

"I don't want to put anything out that I feel, like, is something that I don't love. You just don't get that everyday. You have to wait for it."

At the end of the video, Timberlake steps into the recording booth and puts on his headphones before announcing, "I'm ready".

The screen then displays a countdown for Sunday (13Jan13) at midnight, suggesting that's the date and time fans will learn when they can expect a new album or even get to listen to new music.